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Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Chribroo, Feb 4, 2017.
What egg laying breeds does TSC carry from Feb-Aug?
It varies from one store to another.
Agree, it varies. Ours had a lot of golden sexlinks, and very few other breeds - local feed stores tended to have a better selection. They usually have a list of which chicks will be arriving when, so you can choose and plan.
I work at a TSC store and we will mostly have red/amber/black sexlinks, Rhoad Island Reds, and Cornish cross meat chickens. Sometimes Barred Rocks, and bantams. They don't say what breeds, mostly mixed bins of bantams. Sometimes silkies though it's rare. Sometimes leghorns though it is rare as well.
Are red sex links the " ISA Browns"?
Red sexlinks also called Redstars are a cross between a Rhodisland Red or New Hampshire Red rooster and a Delaware hen. That is the usual cross.
So what's the cross of a ISA BROWN?
Rhode Island Red and Rhode Island Whites. Doesn't say much else as it is a heavily guarded secret apparently. I assume it's a line of red sexlink developed by a certain hatchery since the ISA appeares to stand for the group who developed it so the only way to get a true ISA brown would probably be by getting it through that group. Institut de Sélection Animale or Hubbard ISA
There are two different types of red sex links (or black sex links) offered by the hatcheries. Each hatchery is as different as each Tractor Supply. And different Tractor Supply’s can use different hatcheries. Mine has used McMurray and Privett in the past, I have no idea which hatchery yours would use in Michigan.
One type of sex link is made by crossing two different breeds of chickens. A lot of hatcheries use Rhode Island Red roosters but a few use New Hampshires as the rooster. Others probably use other red roosters. Silver Laced Wyandottes, Delaware, Rhode Island Whites, and White Rocks are often used as hens. These red sex links are a lot like their dual purpose parents. They lay pretty well and reach a reasonable size. They are dual purpose.
The other type of red sex link are the commercial egg laying hybrids like ISA Browns, though there are several others. These have been developed over the decades to have a smaller body and lay a lot of larger eggs. These are extremely efficient at converting feed to eggs. These are not crosses of certain breeds. Like the hybrid broilers they have been developed at great expense by the commercial egg laying industry. They often contain some leghorn, but these companies are not going to give up their secrets on how they developed them. Why make it easier for their rivals?
My local Tractor Supply usually has six bins. One for bantams, one for ducks, and one for the hybrid meat birds. The others can vary. Usually one is labeled pullets or sometimes red pullets. I assume these are some type of sex links. There is usually a straight run bin. These appear to be dual purpose mixed breeds, all kinds of colors and such. There is no telling what will be in that last bin, sometimes it is labeled as a specific breed, sometimes it is some kind of mix. It seems to change on a weekly basis.
The best person to talk to so you can find out what your TSC will have and when is the person managing “chick days” if you can find them. Some people that work there have a much better handle on what is going on than others, so try to find out who is doing the ordering and managing the “chick days” part. My local TSC does a really good job in taking care of the chicks once they get them, the bins are dry and clean with clean food and water always available. Temperature is well-managed. But the lady that manages that part isn’t that good at the different chicken breeds. I haven’t specifically asked her who does the ordering, I probably need to ask just to satisfy my curiosity. I get the feeling chatting with her that someone higher in the organization does that. A couple of years ago they had a bin labeled ISA Brown straight run. When I saw that they had a bin full of yellow chicks with only a couple of red ones left. She did not know they were red sex links but obviously others did. When I mentioned that ISA Browns are red sex links she knew what I was talking about.
My TSC only carries chicks for about six weeks, February and March, maybe just making it into April. They certainly do not carry them until August.
Some TSC’s will order certain orders for you so you can take advantage of their bulk shipping and avoid minimum orders. The hatchery will mark them, usually with a special color of food dye on the head. Mine doesn’t do that, they will order them from the hatchery for you for a cost, but the chicks ship to your post office and the hatchery minimums apply. I can do that myself and cheaper.
It doesn’t do you any good for me to tell you what my TSC does, each one is different. The best source for what yours does is the person in charge of chick days at your local TSC. If you can find out which hatchery they get the chicks from you may be able to go online to that hatchery and see what kind of Red Sex Links they sell.
Michigan will be getting chickens at all the same hatcheries that my store is. We are divided by states into large clusters. Michigan and Minnesota I believe were in the same unit together along with the Dakota's. We used MM last year but apparently are not ordering from them this year. We are getting chicks from 3 different hatcheries in this group and the Chick Days ends April for all locations since this is more so an overall company choice. Shipments for Minnesota/Dakota's/Michigan ends March 20th is the last of three shipments. Not sure how many your location will get but the last shipment is going to be tiny for the Minnesota stores. Only 25 per breed on March 20th. First shipment is coming Fed 20th then Feb 27th. Since Chick Days are not officially set up yet I don't think I can say what is on our order list until the week before our first shipment. I'll have to ask my boss. I have looked over all three hatchery lists and I can say I myself was a little disappointed but they have SOME pretty cool breeds. Not much for ducks either T.T I can certainly keep you listed though since the 'Midwest' is pretty much all lumped together for our hatcheries list and a lot more is uniform store to store than people think since corporate handles everything on a wider scale. Really only pick a handful of hatcheries and ship to stores closest to them. Southern States will have more Southern based hatcheries etc but pretty much sticking to the same list of breeds. They have to since all signs are premade to be exactly the same for every store across the country and sent to our facilities a week ahead of time so we can set them up the night before the events start. We aren't allowed to stray far from what corporate sets up nationwide.
FYI I am right under Ast manager and am the 'Eggspert' yes...they call us the eggsperts T.T for my store so I get all the paperwork on what is happening for chick days, how the store is to be set up, our planagram for it, hatchery lists, and shipment dates and breeds we will be getting in along with managing the signage for the event.